Except you’re a savage or lack basic home training, flushing the toilet is not something that should be strange to you, right? It’s a basic thing that should be done once you pee. Nothing special. If you don’t think so or that’s not your usual practice – we just might have uncovered why no one wants to live with you. You’re welcome. Anyways, this was me! I stopped flushing the toilet after peeing!! Cos I forgot! I literally peed and forgot that I was supposed to flush! It almost caused an issue in my marriage because my husband could not fathom where this new habit came from, or why it was there. Of all things, flushing the toilet?
It caused me to start asking myself a ton of questions, like ‘what is wrong with me?’ Cos I really did want to flush, but I was so absent minded that I would forget to do the basic necessities. I was just existing by the day, and had to be reminded to do everything, from huge things like paying up my debts to basic expectations like flushing the dang toilet!
You see, in a culture and environment like ours, we’ve been programmed to think that rest and sleep are synonymous with each other, and also that you’ve got to be so stressed you’re about to drop – before you deserve some rest. This was why I was wondering why I had started to miss things and disappoint the people I cherish the most, while ending everyday in premium tears as to why my life was going in this direction, without it crossing my mind that – maybe, just maybe, I was stressed.
If I had looked just a bit deeper or listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in me, I would have known that REST was all I needed in order to get myself back. It would have occurred to me that I had been working in a lockdown non stop for months after moving to a new house, shortly after getting married, recording a videocast that required daily research for non stop for 6 months, and all these happened within the space of one year. Most importantly, not just would I have known these things, I would have known that THOSE THINGS WERE ENOUGH TO MAKE ME STRESSED. I did, and do not need to be a laborer to deserve rest.
So many things had been happening to me at once, but in my opinion and those around me, I wasn’t the first. Other people worked back to back for years without going on leave and that wasn’t an issue. So what’s so special? Why did I all of a sudden lose interest in all I had previously been interested in? What was the reason for missing little things like flushing the toilet? Why was I so exhausted after working just one hour everyday? What was with the anxiety episode every time my phone rang? And why the heck was I sleeping so much?
All these were signs of exhaustion – I was exhausted! But no, in a culture where overworking is celebrated, and being busy is the order of the day, where we compare ourselves to each other – all of us who look okay but are not mentally stable – I chose to continue to work, and deteriorate and disappoint myself further.
Now I would love to tell you I took a voluntary break and all these got sorted, but nope! I did not! Do you know what made me take the much needed break I got sick! Terribly sick, I could barely lift a finger! That’s what it took me to rest.
God had told me to take a leave of absence from work some months earlier, but I wasn’t having that o. Leave of absence ke? what would I be doing at home? How would I support my husband with our responsibilities? Would I be promoted with my colleagues? All foolish considerations that would not matter in the grand scheme of things. Until, thankfully I got to take a mandatory break.
Well, now I flush the toilet haha, so you can be sure I’m okay but it took me about 2 months of neglecting everything, watching 10 seasons of greys anatomy all over again, and doing nothing but sleep and gist and eat to get myself back. The fact that I can write again – I couldn’t bring myself to do anything creatively during this period – is a testament that rest alone may just be all you need.
That was all I needed? Absolutely! And that’s all you probably need too! You survived a pandemic! You live in Lagos! It’s you that caters for your family! You work! Those are enough reasons to take a few days off at intervals! You’re worried about looking bad or lazy to your boss?? Really?? That’s what matters to you the most right now? It doesn’t need to get as bad as you not flushing the toilet before you rest! You don’t need to let it get to the point where 2 months is needed, cos you may not have that luxury. Take one week off! Actually rest!
WHO IS THIS TOILET TABLE I’M SHAKING FOR?
It’s you that has fixed all the parties for December, or you that’s wondering why you are no longer interested in any of the things you used to, maybe it’s that you don’t ever feel like picking your phone or interacting with anyone, those are the signs staring at you. No! You’re not weird, and you don’t have a problem. You just need rest.
You cannot give what you don’t have so it’s only going to get worse. Take some time. Recuperate. No one gets the award for the most stressed. Your KPIs at work that you’re trying so hard to meet, will thank you for it. So will your husband when he doesn’t have to flush the toilet after you all the time.
Love you all
-Bimpe (your guy)